SATERN National Liaison
Newsletter 30 September 2017

Hurricane Maria:


Important New information is in RED.

At this time, the plan is for the International SATERN SSB Net will continue to be activated for Hurricane Maria through Saturday, 21 October 2017. This is being done to support ARRL operators in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands (PRVI) who are supporting the American Red Cross.

However, the activation has stabilized to a steady schedule as described below. Therefore . . .


Hurricane Maria:

Tropical Storm (TS) Maria is 505 miles SSE of Cape Race, Newfoundland, moving ENE at 32 mph. TS Maria is a moderate tropical storm with sustained winds of 60 mph. TS Maria is expected to continue moving to the ENE with a continued increase in forward speed. TS Maria is expected to become an extra–tropical low later today or early tomorrow.


There are no longer any Warnings or Watches associated with Tropical Storm Maria.

Hurricane Lee:

Post–Tropical Cyclone Lee has weakened to a 50 mph post–tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 50 mph located about 745 miles WNW of the Azores. The National Hurricane Center has published its final Advisory on Lee today.



This is Day #12 of the Hurricane Maria activation.


Beginning TODAY, Saturday, 30 September 2017, the International SATERN SSB Net will begin a NEW NET SCHEDULE as follows:

  1400 Z to 1600 Z (0900 CT to 1100 CT):
The Net will operate at a Delta II status with comments being allowed by operators checking in provided there is no message traffic to be handled.

Net Control Operators and all stations on the Net will take a 10 second pause between each station’s comments to listen for stations with message traffic for the Net

Net Control Operators will take a break for the entire Net to listen for ARRL stations in Puerto Rico / U.S. Virgin Island (USVI) every 15 minutes.

The morning portion of the Net from 1400 Z to 1600 Z will NOT be done on Sundays.

  1600 Z to 2000 Z (1100 CT to 1500 CT):
The Net will take a break from ALL operations. Stations who wish to continue monitoring the frequency are encouraged to do so if they wish.

  2000 Z to 2400 Z (1500 CT to 1900 CT):
The Net will operate in a Delta II status monitoring for any Emergency, Priority or Health & Welfare messages coming out of the Caribbean to the United States.

Net Control Operators will take a break for the entire Net to listen for ARRL stations in Puerto Rico / USVI at 15 minutes and 45 minutes after the top of each hour.

At 2400 Z, the last Net Control Operator will continue to operate the Net if there is propagation and pending messages from the Caribbean to the United States. The decision to do that will be based on
(a) whether there are messages still pending on the Net and
(b) propagation.

The personal schedule of the last Net Control Operator will also be a determining factor.

The above schedule will continue until further notice.


The Net Control Operators scheduled for today (Saturday, 30 September 2017) are:

Time (in Z) Name (Call Sign) General Location
  1415 Z to 1600 Z Ken Gilliland (AG6SV) California
  2000 Z to 2100 Z Bill Rivers (KF4MGF) Florida
  2100 Z to 2200 Z George Miller (W3GWM) Pennsylvania
  2200 Z to 2300 Z Gil Jones (KA5GIL) Texas
  2300 Z to 2400 Z MARS: Rob Sweeton (KG7ALH) Washington

The Net Control Schedule from TODAY through SATURDAY, 21 October 2017 can be found on

Net Controls & Net Relay Stations and stations checking into the Net should be pausing for a few seconds between transmissions throughout the Net period including the comment session. During that pause Net Control and Net Relay Stations will be asking for any stations with emergency, priority or Health & Welfare messages to check in. All other stations should listen closely and be prepared to relay weak stations with such messages.

The International SATERN SSB Net strongly encourages the participation of bi–lingual (English & Spanish) amateur radio operators on the Net.


Outbound Messages:

Outbound Emergency, Priority and Health & Welfare messages (e.g. messages coming OUT of a potentially impacted area) are being accepted by The Salvation Army / SATERN from the affected disaster area(s) into the United States.

  1. Messages that indicate that the sender and / or their family are safe and well should be delivered as soon as possible.
  2. Messages about injuries or fatalities of family members should NOT be accepted or delivered. The radio operator should have the originating person send such messages through appropriate official channels.
  3. Messages that are not about Safe & Well issues (e.g. damage to the sender’s or recipient’s property) should not be delivered.
  4. ARRL Deployment to Puerto Rico:
    1. The ARRL deployed twenty (20) highly skilled operators to Puerto Rico in support of an American Red Cross shelter mission on Thursday, 28 September 2017. The deployment is scheduled to last up to three (3) weeks under very grueling, primitive austere conditions.
    2. The International SATERN SSB Net has been asked to assist these operators when they check in to the Net with tactical, Health & Welfare and Safe & Well messages. This includes inputting information into SATERN’s Safe & Well Form (see next point below).
    3. W1AW will be participating on the Net from 2000 Z to 2400 Z on Saturday, 30 September 2017.
  5. All SATERN operators are encouraged to use the new form for entering information directly into the American Red Cross Safe & Well site.
    1. The form can be found at www.satern– Use Password: SATERN–RCFORM
    2. Although there are a lot of fields in this form, the minimally needed fields are:
      1. date filed (automatically filled)
      2. disaster name (automatically filled)
      3. first name of the sender (e.g. the person in the disaster area reporting they or other family members are “Safe & well”)
      4. address of the sender (full address if available, but at least a city and state or country is needed)
      5. A check mark on one or more of the Sender / Registrant check boxes
      6. Your call sign in the box marked “Forms Assistant”
    3. Although this form is primarily designed to be filled out by SATERN members who receive this information from ARRL station checking into the SATERN Net from Puerto Rico (see below under ARRL), it should also be used by SATERN stations who receive enough information from any station in Puerto Rican passing Health & Welfare messages that would allow the above minimal information to be entered.

Inbound Messages:

Neither the SATERN Net nor are accepting Health & Welfare Inbound messages (That is, Health & Welfare Messages inquiries going to people inside an impacted area).

Inbound Emergency Messages (e.g. messages affecting life–safety) should be handled as an emergency and assistance given to the best of the Net’s ability.

Inbound Health & Welfare Inquiries should be referred to any one or all of the following resources:

  1. American Red Cross Safe and Well program at:
  2. An email to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) at: marial(at)prfaa(dot)pr(dot)gov
    Because of the high volume being received, PRFAA is asking each person to send only ONE email with NO follow-up emails. PRFAA is doing the best it can under incredibly difficult circumstances.
  3. For the Island Nation of Dominica, Inbound inquiries are being accepted by the Caribbean Emergency Weather Net (CEWN) at: WelfareDominica(at)CEWN(dot)org

Emails to either PRFAA or CEWN should contain the following information:

  1. Sender / Originator’s Name
  2. Sender / Originator’s Location (e.g. City, Country or State if in the U.S.)
  3. Sender / Originator’s email address and / or phone number.
  4. FULL Name of the person(s) being inquired about.
  5. Community / Location of the person(s) being inquired about.


International SATERN Digital Net: This Net is in operation today at its regular time and frequency.

Plans are being developed for a possible daily Delta V activation of this Net in the event that SATERN operators are deployed to the Puerto Rico / Virgin Islands Division.

Southern Territory SATERN SSB Net: This Net is in operation today at its regular time and frequency.


ARRL: The ARRL deployed twenty (20) skilled digital operators on Thursday, 28 September 2017 to Puerto Rico to support the American Red Cross with input of information to their Safe & Well site via WinMOR and voice.

National SATERN Liaison Bill Feist (WB8BZH) and the leadership of the International SATERN SSB Net express their deep appreciation to SATERN’s partners.

He also wants to express his heartfelt appreciation for all of the SATERN and partner organization operators who have helped and continue to help SATERN during this extraordinarily long activation.

He also expresses his gratitude to those operators from SATERN and its’ partner organizations that have participated as Net Control and Net Relay Stations. This willingness to serve, regardless of organizational affiliation, is a credit to the individual operators, their “home” organizations, and the Amateur Radio Service at large.

Finally, he wants to express his gratitude to the following specific people who have contributed time, energy and resources far beyond the call of duty to this historic effort :

  Ken Gilliand, AG6SV Net Manager, International SATERN SSB Net.
  He has, and continues, to provide countless hours – often
  10–12 hour PER DAY – to manage the Net and recruit
  Net Control Stations. As he is so fond of telling others who have
  helped him so much, “You deserve a merit badge for this.”

  Bob Rogers, WA5EEZ Assistant Net Manager, International SATERN SSB Net.
  He has also provided many hours assisting AG6SV in the management efforts
  of this Net.

  Larry Watford, W4AUE He has provided numerous web–based operating aids
  for this operation including an Instant Messaging service for the Net Control
  Stations, on–line message forms and more.

  Don Poisson, N5DOA Although he has remained mostly silent on the Net, he has
  been there almost continuously monitoring and providing information and advice to
  the Net Manager.

  Ken Standard, AD5XJ Webmaster for He has worked hard to keep the website
  updated with fresh information at a moment’s notice at all hours of the day and

As the National SATERN Liaison, I quite literally could not have done this without these people’s assistance and the assistance of everyone else on the Net. Your professionalism and willingness to contribute so many long hours was absolutely vital to the operational success of this mission.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Rev. 1.00 2017-09-26 AD5XJ